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April 1972

Heritability of Plasma Cortisol

Author Affiliations

New York; Boston; Amherst, Mass
From the Department of Ophthalmology, New York University School of Medicine, New York (Dr. Levene); Department of Ophthalmology, Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston (Dr. Schwartz); and the Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass (Dr. Workman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1972;87(4):389-391. doi:10.1001/archopht.1972.01000020391004

The previously demonstrated correlation between the ocular pressure rise after topical application of corticosteroids and the plasma cortisol value after oral administration of dexamethasone as well as the previously demonstrated genetic nature of the former suggest that the latter is also heritable. In a study of 98 nuclear family groups, initial and final plasma cortisol levels were determined between 5 and 7 PM on successive days. The final cortisol was taken 24 hours after 0.75 mg of dexamethasone was administered orally. No clearcut evidence of heritability among first degree relatives was noted. An unexpected finding was a significant correlation between husband and wife pairs.